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Antiques to go under the hammer March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions, Arts Events Greece.
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The Art Dealers Association holds its yearly show this weekend > Paintings, rare period furniture, jewelry, old books, coins, banknotes, silverware, sculptures and an assortment of other collectible works of art go on display at the Association of Greek Antique and Art Dealers’s annual show this weekend at Zappeion Hall.

22-03-08_art_auction2.jpg  A chair, first half of 20th century, from the Gerasimos Kougianos collection. For the first time since its launch 14 years ago, an auction has been incorporated into this popular event for antique lovers. It is scheduled for Sunday at 1.30 p.m. Bidding for a select number of items will begin at 50 percent of their estimated worth. The participating collectors estimate the values of items to be auctioned off at between 300 and 10,000 euros.

22-03-08_art_auction1.jpg  Golden earrings with diamonds, end 19th century, from Evangelos Vitalis collection. A total of 24 collectors, each boasting distinct treasures, will be taking part at the event. Gerasimos Kougianos, for example, brings to the event old furniture and lighting fixtures that date back to the first half of the previous century. Stavros Michalarias of Michalarias Art will take part with paintings and sculptures by significant Greek and foreign artists as well as antiquities.

22-03-08_art_auction3.jpg  Silver metallic belts from the Nikos Roussos collection. Dimitra Panagopoulou, representing the Mevagissey antique store, will exhibit English furniture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Nikos Roussos brings to the show antiquities, banknotes, jewelry, silverware, watches, guns and porcelain items. Stratos Fotopoulos’s focus is on paintings by 19th and 20th century Greek artists.

22-03-08_art_auction4.jpg  A sculpture from the Eleni Stavropoulou collection. The 14th exhibition of the Association of Greek Antique and Art Dealers opens Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sunday, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For further information, call 210 3225427.


Greeks aim to bring Callas collection home October 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions, Ballet Dance Opera.
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Italians will also be vying for opera singer’s paraphernalia at auction in Milan

la_divina_maria_callas.jpg  Her relationship with Greece may have been as tempestuous as her love affair with Aristotle Onassis, but three decades after her death Greeks, it seems, cannot get enough of Maria Callas. So much so, that the cash-strapped Athens government has unprecedented plans to snap up the last great collection of paraphernalia associated with the singer when it goes under the auctioneer’s hammer on December 12.

“The sale of all these items interests us hugely,” Panayiotis Kakoliris, a senior adviser to the Greek Culture Minister, said. “Right now, we are looking into how we can raise the funds, to both buy and bring them here.”

At stake is a fabulous array of intimate letters, jewels, evening dresses, furniture, paintings, photographs, unseen stage notes and annotated musical scores released by the estate of Callas’s husband, the late Italian industrialist Giovanni Battista Meneghini.

The material, which allegedly unlocks every aspect of the soprano’s life with the much older Meneghini, whom she was to drop in 1957 for Onassis, is expected to fetch well in excess of £500,000 when it is auctioned in Milan. Comprising 330 lots, the collection, which also includes the couple’s engraved, gold band wedding rings, is so voluminous that Sotheby’s had to put aside a day for the sale.

“The items may be less valuable now but they are very intimate. What is quite obvious is that Meneghini, though 28 years older than Maria, never stopped being in love with her,” said Esmeralda Benvenuti, the deputy director of Sotheby’s in Milan. “He kept all her letters and, having read them, I can say they are really very passionate. A lot of her belongings, after her death, were put up for auction in Paris in 1978 and he bought those as well which is why the collection is so big.”

Since Callas’s premature death, at the age of 53 in the French capital, interest in the woman who would come to be known as La Divina, has never waned, with fan clubs proliferating worldwide. Strangely, however, international adoration has failed until this year to be replicated in Greece, the country Callas most identified with, requesting that her ashes be scattered in the Aegean, but one she avoided when, in her late 30s, her voice cracked and her often stormy relations with her family worsened.

At the last auction of Callas memorabilia in Paris seven years ago, Greek devotees rushed to buy the singer’s personal effects, but Athens’ Town Hall, which had also dispatched buyers, was unable to keep up with the bidding war. As a result, admirers in Athens have had to make do with a Maria Callas Museum whose exhibits include little more than a wig, a set of gloves and photographs of the singer playing with her favourite pooch. “Of course, we would like to have more but tell me how when there’s always been the issue of money,” said Loulis Psychoulis, who runs an Athenian conservatory dedicated to La Divina.

Augmenting the country’s paltry Callas collection has become a priority for a government that, this year, has also gone out of its way to celebrate the great dramatic singer with a series of recitals, concerts, exhibitions and shows.

But the desire to repay a debt of gratitude, long overlooked, may have come too late. When the bidding starts in Milan, the home town of La Scala where much of her career was made, the Greeks will be up against the Italians who also see Callas, their favourite opera star, as one of their own.

Born Mary Anna Kalogeropoulou to Greek emigres in New York, Maria Callas is regarded as the greatest opera singer since the second world war. She grew up in Athens, making her debut there. She moved to Italy and met industrialist Giovanni Meneghini. They married in 1949. He oversaw her career which rocketed at La Scala in Milan. In 1957, she met Aristotle Onassis, divorced Meneghini and expected to marry Onassis, but the shipping magnate’s affections turned to John F Kennedy’s widow Jackie, who he married in 1968. Callas gave her last public concert in 1974. She died on September 16 1977 in Paris.

Maria Callas Auction October 25, 2007

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Greece eyes items going under the hammer in Milan next month

Greece is thinking of bidding for various personal belongings of opera diva Maria Callas that are to be auctioned off next month, according to reports yesterday.

Sotheby’s is due to put letters, dresses and other items that belonged to Callas up for sale in Milan on December 12 after the items were released by the estate of her late husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini. «The sale of these items interests us hugely» Britain’s Guardian newspaper quoted Culture Ministry official Panayiotis Kakoliris as saying. «Right now, we are looking into how we can raise the funds to both buy and bring them back here.»

Christie’s opens its doors to the Greek public October 16, 2007

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Two rare blue diamonds were displayed at Christie’s in New York last week.

British auctioneer Christie’s opens its doors to the Greek public this week with an exhibition showcasing high-quality jewelry, watches and paintings tomorrow and Thursday.

Divided into three sections, the rare items are scheduled to go on display at the Eugenides Foundation before taking part in auctions around the world. The show demonstrates the landmark auction house’s developing interest in the Greek market. Christie’s is the first of the leading international auction houses presenting high-caliber impressionist and modern artworks due to participate in future international art auctions in this country.

Coming to Athens is a collection of high-quality jewelry and watches estimated at $20 million. The pieces are part of collections going on sale at Christie’s sales in Geneva, Dubai and Paris.

Visitors will also see works by Georges Braque, Edgar Degas, Fernand Leger, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir and Theophile Steinlen. Going on sale in Paris on December 3, the collection’s value is estimated at more than 5 million euros. Also displayed in Athens are four Greek landscapes by 19th century artist Edward Lear, stemming from the Giorgio Marsan and Umberta Nasi private collection. Estimated at 300,000 pounds sterling, the works will go under the hammer in London on December 12 and 13.

The Eugenides Foundation is situated at 387 Syngrou Avenue, Faliron, Athens. For more information call 210 9469600 or visit > www.christies.com

Sotheby’s auction of Magna Carta September 29, 2007

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Sotheby’s announced that it will offer for sale the only remaining copy of the Magna Carta held in a private collection. The Royal document revered as the birth certificate of freedom and the most important document ever offered at auction, will be up for sale during the week of December 10 in New York.

This iconic manuscript, dated 1297, is the cornerstone of modern ideas of freedom and democracy. It is the most famous single document in existence. Issued by King Edward I, and sealed by the King, this astonishing survivor is one of fewer than twenty examples of the Magna Carta, and the only one ever likely to be sold.

This medieval vellum manuscript is well-known to millions, having been on view with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. since arriving in America over 22 years ago.

It is one of only two copies of the Magna Carta outside of England, the other belonging to the people of Australia. The document is estimated to sell for $20 to 30 million with the proceeds benefiting the charitable activities of The Perot Foundation.

EDITOR’S COMMENT > Although above news do not directly relate to Greece or Cyprus, we have found it to be extremely interesting, thus the posting.